Members of the celebrated Cassatt String Quartet will perform in concert in the Clifford Gallery on Thursday, April 5 at 7:00 PM. Admission is $10. Purchase tickets using the form below or call the office at (207) 338-2222.
The engaging and passionate program will feature Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 74, Harp; and a “preview” performance of Vineet Shende’s String Quartet No. 2 in Raag Ahir-Bhairav.
About the Cassatt String Quartet:
The Cassatt String Quartet was the ﬁrst quartet chosen for Juilliard’s Young Artists Quartet Program. Since then, they have performed at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Theater, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Theatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and the Beijing Central Conservatory in China. At the Library of Congress, the Cassatts performed on the library’s matched quartet of Stradivarius instruments, and they performed the three complete Beethoven Quartet cycles at the University at Buffalo.
The Cassatt String Quartet has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, Boston’s WGBH, and New York’s WQXR and WNYC. They have 30 recordings, and were named three times to Alex Ross’ 10 best classical recordings of the year in The New Yorker Magazine.
The quartet is named for the celebrated American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.
Cassatt members include: Muneko Otani and Jennifer Leshnower, violins; Ah Ling Neu, viola; and Elizabeth Anderson, cello.
About Vineet Shende, composer:
Vineet Shende’s work has been called “impeccably written [music], at once ferocious and mystical” (Portland Press Herald). It often deals with conceptual issues of timbral development, structural order, and the Japanese aesthetic concept of ma (“active” space and time). Shende’s music incorporates a wide variety of styles, including the modal and rhythmic world of North Indian classical music, the visceral energy of rock music, and a harmonic language described as “hard to characterize, dissonant in some places and with celestial harmonies in others, but unusually accessible” (Maine Sunday Telegram). His music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Shende is an Associate Professor of Music at Bowdoin College, where he oversees the composition program and teaches courses in composition, electronic music, orchestration, music theory, music history, and Asian music.
Shende speaking about String Quartet No. 2 in Raag Ahir-Bhairav: “I have often been dissatisfied, if not outright annoyed, by concert-music pieces characterized as “East-meets-West.” Quite often the “East” of such pieces is fairly superficial—usually sections with “exotic” scales supported by drones. I suppose a culinary analogy would be claiming to have an Indian-American “fusion” restaurant where the dishes are actually just fried chicken, hamburgers, macaroni & cheese, and peanut-butter & jelly sandwiches sprinkled with a curry powder on top. So, I thought this piece would be an opportunity to write something where the aesthetics of Indian classical music were not just an added flavor but instead existed on a primary structural level. My String Quartet No. 2 in Raag Ahir-Bhairav employs melodic and formal ideas found in North Indian raag, rhythmic ideas found in South Indian taal, and polyphony and modulation found in Western concert music. Unlike the concepts of scale, or key, in Western music, where a particular key like D major has central prominence, the concept of raag also includes differences in ascent and descent, particular melodic turns of phrase and ornamentations which are used when approaching a particular note from another particular note. All of these “rules” work to allow a particular rasa (an almost subconscious emotional state) to emerge for players and listeners alike.”